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The 185th Air Refueling Wing deploys to Germany

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bill Wiseman
  • 185 ARW
Over 40 members of the 185 Air Refueling Wing (ARW), Sioux City, Iowa, and two KC-135 Strato-Tankers deployed to NATO Early Warning & Control Force, E-3A Component, in Geilenkirchen, Germany to provide air refueling training in July.
"Our mission here is to provide a training platform for the NATO pilots flying the E-3A Airborne Warning & Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft with Air-to-Air refueling" according to Col. Dave McKinney, the 185 ARW Vice Commander. "And not just here, we will also be forward deploying one jet and support staff to Forward Operating Base Atkion, Greece to provide training with more of the NATO pilots."
Col. McKinney added that the Air National Guard is helping fulfill an important NATO mission with the training while providing valuable experience to our pilots by giving them the opportunity to fly in European airspace and work with NATO pilots from many different countries.
Col. McKinney is coming to the end of a four year tour as the Air National Guard Liaison at the NATO air base. While his time here has been fun and rewarding he is ready to come home.
This is the seventh rotation for the 185th at Geilenkirchen. The training mission at Gilenkirchen has been fulfilled year-round entirely by Air National Guard units since 1993, with most units deploying for two or three weeks at a time so there is a unit on station at all times.